LSM Newswire

Friday, April 23, 2010

Semperoper Dresden Offers Scintillating 2010-11 Season

Photo: Semperoper Dresden

Press conference of Semperoper Dresden for the Season 2010/11

The Designated General Director of the Semperoper, Dr. Ulrike Hessler introduced her concept for the new season 2010/11.

The 2010/2011 season will usher in a new chapter in the glittering biography of the Semperoper Dresden when, for the first time in the famous opera house’s more than 350 year history, a woman will hold the office of general manager. In her new position, Dr. Ulrike Hessler intends to foster a lively and fruitful mix of tradition and innovation. The Saxon State Opera will promote and nurture its ensemble of singers, whilst also focussing on younger audiences and the musical roots of the city of Dresden. »Not a radical break with the past« says Ulrike Hessler, »but continuous development and transformation as the path into the future «.

The first premiere already has close links to Dresden. »Daphne« is one of Richard Strauss’s nine operas which were originally produced in the Saxon capital. Further operas by Strauss, as well as works by other composers with strong connections to the city, such as Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner, will follow in the next five years. »Rusalka« by Antonín Dvořák bridges the gap to the neighbouring city of Prague, highlighting the shared cultural heritage. This production also offers Dresden audiences their first taste of the work of director Stefan Herheim. As the Semperoper’s principal director, he will bring one of his sensuous and wonderfully imaginative productions to the city each season.

Of course, in a baroque city one should expect to hear baroque opera. In the first season audiences can enjoy Claudio Monteverdi’s »L'incoronazione die Poppea«, Henry Purcell’s »Dido and Aeneas« and Johann Adolph Hasse’s Intermezzo »Il tutore«.

Kurt Weill is also connected to Dresden through a premiere conducted by Fritz Busch. However, the work which audiences can look forward to is the opera »Street Scene«, originally composed by Weill for Broadway, and now to enjoy its premiere performance in Dresden. With a large cast of characters, the Semperoper’s expanded ensemble will have a great opportunity to show off their talents.

With its new youth programme Semperoper Junge Szene, the opera house intends to cultivate a young audience while at the same time bringing different generations together. Hans Werner Henze has specially composed a new opera for this venture entitled »Gisela! Oder: Die denk- und merkwürdigem Wege des Glücks«. This work, which can be enjoyed by all ages, will receive its premiere on the main opera stage. Further Junge Szene projects will be presented on the smaller rehearsal stage 1 (directly attached to the opera house). According to Ulrike Hessler: »Young people are very important to us, not just as the audience of tomorrow, but also as a source of artistic creativity. They can support us in keeping alive our wonderful art form, infusing it with new life and energy«.

The Semperoper is perhaps unusual in devoting much time and effort to cultivating its repertoire and ensemble of singers. General Manager Ulrike Hessler and the new opera director, Eytan Pessen, have made a conscious decision to enlarge the current ensemble with an infusion of strong young voices, offering them space to grow artistically by performing diverse roles in a variety of styles. Pessen emphasis that »I am fascinated when artists work together to create a complete and unified work of art, where a symbiosis can develop between individual singers and the entire ensemble«.

Finally, Semperoper Ballett under Aaron S. Watkin will also display this spirit of close cooperation and mutual understanding when they present, amongst other works, »Coppelia« and choreographies by Forsythe, while also collaborating with the Palucca School and the European Centre of the Arts in Hellerau.

At the season 2010/11 the Semperoper shows 14 new productions, with 3 Ballet productions, and 3 concertant opera premieres.

Further information to the season 2010/11 is available at

Following this link you will find an video interview with Dr. Ulrike Hessler, she speaks about her concept for the season 2010/11.

premieres at the season 2010/11


October 2nd , 2010 Richard Strauss


November 20th, 2010 Hans Werner Henze

»Gisela! oder: Die denk- und merkwürdigen Wege des Glücks«

December 11th, 2010 Antonín Dvořák


April 2nd, 2011 Claudio Monteverdi

»L’incoronazione di Poppea« (Die Krönung der Poppea)

June19th, 2011 Kurt Weill

»Street Scene«


October 3rd, 2010 Johann Adolf Hasse

»Il tutore« (Der Vormund)

Semperoper Junge Szene

December 12th, 2010 Henry Purcell

»Dido and Aeneas«

February 6th, 2011 César A. Cui

»Der gestiefelte Kater«

Opera concertante

January 2nd, 2011 Peter I. Tschaikowski

»Iolanta« (Jolanthe)

May 10th, 2011 Gioachino Rossini

»La gazza ladra« (Die diebische Elster)

June 6th, 2011 Gaetano Donizetti

»Anna Bolena«

Semperoper Ballett

February 5th, 2011 »Coppélia«

Choreography: George Balanchine & Alexandra Danilova after Marius Petipa

Music: Léo Delibes

May 20th, 2011 »3 Colors Green« (tripartite ballet evening)


Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Gabriel Fauré

»She was black«

Choreography: Mats Ek

Music: Henryk M. Górecki

»Opus 31«

Choreography: William Forsythe

Music: Thom Willems

April 9th, 2011 »Cinderella« premire at Probebühne 1

Choreography: Stijn Celis

Music: Sergej Prokofjew

Neue Reihen

»Junge Choreografen« (Young Choreographers)

Premiere in the Semperoper on February 19th, 2011 ProbebühneI

On the one hand we have dancers on stage, embodying the roles of diverse choreographies in a huge range of styles; on the other hand we have choreographers, creators, continually striving for innovation and seeking out new ideas. They offer fresh challenges to both dancers and audience while expanding the boundaries of their art.

Dancer or choreographer? If this barrier exists, how should it be overcome? »Young Choreographers« shows that the transition from one to the other can be smoothly overcome. The new season sees the start of an annual project offering dancers from the Semperoper Ballett a chance to try their hand at choreography. They will devise pieces exclusively for other dancers at the Semperoper, which will then be presented in public in the framework of the »Young Choreographers« project. This offers active dancers the opportunity to extend their field of activities to include the creation of new work. Audience will be able to follow closely the development of »their« dancers and perhaps enjoy the first endeavours of a future star choreographer.

»Ballett on the move«

The 2010/11 season sees the Semperoper Ballett make use of various venues throughout Dresden as additional platforms for the exploration of contemporary experimental dance. In particular, the company dancers will be offered the possibility of furthering their individual artistic development by combining dance with other elements of the performing arts. Currently planned are collaborations with the Palais Summer, Festspielhaus Hellerau, the Sculpture Collection of Dresden’s State Art Collections, as well as Volkswagen´s »Die Gläserne Manufaktur« (The Transparent Factory).

Performance dates can be found in the current monthly programme or at

Guest performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain



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